Edmonton Oilers Should Avoid Players Like Evander Kane | Oilersnetwork.com - Edmonton Oilers News and Rumours

Edmonton Oilers Should Avoid Players Like Evander Kane

Evander Kane, if nothing else, is a headline in the making. Continually gaining media attention for all the wrong reasons, as he so often tends to do, Kane is potentially in legal trouble again. Rumors have begun to swirl that he may be on the outs in Buffalo. There seems to be no direct tie to the Oilers, but if I'm any of the 29 other NHL teams, including the Edmonton Oilers, I look the other way.
Photo by Lisa Gansky

Kane's Newest Legal Issues

Kane's most recent trouble stems from a nightlife incident in Buffalo and according to a police report, Kane allegedly grabbed one woman by the throat and tried to force a second woman from a bar all three had attended that evening.
While pictures surfaced of Kane being handcuffed, he had voluntarily turned himself into police and has been charged with a misdemeanour charge of criminal trespassing and four non-criminal harassment violations.  This is not his only incident this year, as he was investigated for an alleged sexual offense, but no charges were ever laid.
Buffalo General Manager Tim Murray has spoken out in regard to Kane's legal troubles, "He’s going to have to pick and choose his spots when he goes out a lot better than he does, and he’s going to have to behave himself a lot better than he has obviously." "Whether he has done these things or not, or he is guilty of these things or not, it’s not something I like getting up in the morning and reading about that’s for sure."
A Checkered Past
There is an interesting piece done by Evan Peaslee of Sportsnet citing accounts of every major and minor incident Kane had with the Jets before being shipped off to the Sabres. Starting with a questionable photo that surfaced on his Instagram account, issues deal with small and obscure social decisions to trade requests. There's not a team Kane has played for or a city he hasn't played in, where Kane hasn't drawn a lot of unnecessary attention to himself. To say that Kane's relationship in Winnipeg was bumpy would be putting it mildly.
On the Move
If the rumors are true, it appears as though Murray is the latest in a line of hockey people who have grown tired of waiting on Kane to right-the-ship. Drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers fourth-overall in 2009, he moved with the team to Winnipeg (not his fault) and then was traded to the Buffalo Sabres. While talented, his latest move should be partially attributed to his checkered past as there is a documented   history with some of his teammates. He's been known as a problem-child in the dressing room and examples of other players taking matters into their own hands likely only skims-the-surface of his off-ice issues.
Why The Edmonton Oilers Don't Fit
It seems like every year or two, rumors surface that players like Kane are heading to other NHL teams. And, without fail, these same types of players manage to find an interested suitor. In 2009, there was legitimate interest in drafting Kane and the Oilers had hoped he would fall to tenth overall. When it became clear that wasn't going to happen, Edmonton tried to move up to pick him. The cards didn't fall that way and Edmonton wound up selecting Magnus Paajarvi.
As a result, Edmonton rightly or wrongly seems to be in the background when rumors surface that Kane may be headed elsewhere. In a way, it makes sense as Kane is a talented, feisty forward. He has size and a mean streak, which is something the Oilers spent years looking for and recently found in Milan Lucic.
That said, Kane is not a talented enough player to overlook certain issues. He's unlike a player in the mold of Tyler Seguin, whose situation has become all too familiar with Oiler fans. Edmonton GM Peter Chiarelli once famously traded Seguin, after issues surfaced he didn't fit the team culture. Seguin later went on to be one of the NHL's top offensive centers and a star in Dallas. It's a trade that hurt Chiarelli's reputation and he's been recently reminded of it after trading Taylor Hall. 

This situation would be different. The Edmonton Oilers are finally making strides to being a more cohesive team. They're in the middle of a cultural cleanse and adding players with baggage would be muddying those waters. In the particular case of Evander Kane, Edmonton also doesn't need another left winger. With Lucic, Benoit Pouliot and Patrick Maroon, they have money tied up and depth at that position. Most importantly, the Oilers also don't need a player who hasn't seemed to figure out that behavior, respect and accountability count for something.
On-ice Results
When you look at Kane on the ice, he's perhaps not a star, but he's clearly a good player. One would hope to see some progression in his game, but it hasn't really happened. Kane's point totals have dropped every year since the 2013-14 season. His possession numbers are strong, but that's not enough to overlook the issues that come piggy-back to his on-ice performance.
If the Oilers were willing to trade a better player in Hall, who was rumored to have minor chemistry issues, but clearly wasn't a public menace the way that Kane is and has been, it makes little sense to add a lesser player who seems to be trending downward. There appears to be little evidence suggesting Kane has figured out his issues.
Buffalo looks to have lost the trade with Winnipeg that brought Kane to the Sabres. The Oilers already lost a trade this summer. Add those elements to Kane's off-ice issues and trading for him simply isn't a good bet. At $5.25 million over the next two seasons, he'd be an expensive mistake. The rumors seem to be that if Kane is traded, the Canucks will have interest. That's alright by me. 

For now, I'll just keep my mouth shut until I feel like spilling my guts again.

Jim Parsons is a business owner, husband, father and sports fan. For more information about Oilersnetwork.com founder and Oil Spill articles author Jim Parsons, click here.

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6 Responses to "Edmonton Oilers Should Avoid Players Like Evander Kane"

  1. But he was only traded once. Atlanta moved to Winnipeg.

  2. The sign off sounds like Yukon Jack

  3. Hmm.... I don't like this article. After reading the profile you linked in the paragraph and being a fan of hockey myself for many years.

    Too me i could use your same logic to say patrick kane should have been traded off Chicago because he was alleged of doing something nobody could prove. pretty sure he IS the Chicago Blackhawks come playoff time.

    I welcome anyone who can play hockey and is genuinely a good person regardless of what they do when they're drunk or partying. Oilers need people who can/will fight for what they believe in. Kane is one. I would sign him in a second.

    1. There are definitely people who agree with your take. I think the comparison to Patrick Kane isn't there though.

      It's like my argument with Tyler Seguin, but exponentially more leaning toward the idea that the best players off-ice habits are overlooked. Seguin is an unbelievable talent, but was in fact traded. Do you think Patrick Kane is still in Chicago with all his off-ice issues if he wasn't one of the best players in the NHL? There was a time he was rumored to be traded too. He's an exception due only to his immense talent.

      Clearly, Evander Kane is talented, but not one of the best left wingers in the NHL and he's paid pretty well. I don't think he improves the team that much since Oilers have a position of strength there and his off-ice troubles tell me it's not worth the gamble.


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